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The Controller's Function: The Work of the Managerial Accountant, 4th Edition by Steven M. Bragg

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Chapter 3

Planning and the Strategic Plan

This chapter discusses the various elements of the strategic plan and provides an overview of the planning process. It reviews some of the basic questions raised in the planning process and considers the elements of strategic planning, for example, constructing a mission statement, factors to consider when picking objectives and strategies, and possible ways to manage the planning process. The next two chapters examine the strategic plan by looking at the qualified long-range plan and the annual plan.

Strategic Plan Overview

Strategic planning begins with the present and extends as far into the future as useful for planning purposes. The purpose of strategic planning is to set the company guidelines and policies that serve as the basis for the next echelon of plans, which are the development plan and the operations plan. The strategic plan focuses on the needs, dangers, and opportunities facing the company. It identifies the key decisions that must be made and usually sets guidelines and deadlines for making them. The process guides the company in decisions about the current generation of products as well as the next and succeeding generations of products and markets. This thinking and communicating process helps ensure that the plans and decisions of the various units are moving the company to the same agreed-on objectives.

The plan must contain these six elements:

1. A statement of purpose. Identifying the purpose of the plan gives ...

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